What is the change? Australia now recognises all valid ePassports to be eligible to present to its SmartGate automatic border processing system.

What does the change mean? Travellers with valid ePassports may process much more quickly through Australia’s international airports.

  • Implementation timeframe: The change took effect 1
  • Visas/permits affected: All passports considered valid and eligible by the Australian Government.
  • Who is affected: Travellers arriving into Australia’s international
  • Business impact: Speedier border processing improves business travel.
  • Next steps: Travellers should determine if their passports are eligible or on the prohibited lists.

Background: The expansion of SmartGate to “all valid passports” was authorised by Federal Determination IMMI 14/079 under the Migration Act 1958. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has published a detailed list of documents that will not be recognised. A complete list is available on Schedule A and B of the legislative instrument.

BAL Analysis: Australia’s SmartGate border clearance uses electronic data in ePassports and facial recognition technology to perform customs and immigration checks. Note the list of enumerated travel documents not recognised as valid by the Australian Government.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 9683856

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